Pieces from Marine Layer's Re-Spun collection.

As Americans we throw out a lot of things. And I mean a lot. According to one EPA estimate, the average American throws out 81 pounds of clothing a year during cleansing purges. At the same time it takes upwards of 700 gallons of water to grow the cotton required for a single t-shirt. That translates to a ton of waste. 

San Francisco founded fashion brand Marine Layer has a new collection to help combat the excessive waste. Their Portland shop has just launched the Re-Spun Collection, a line made entirely from customer’s recycled shirts—with no additional water, chemicals, or dyes used in the production.

Here's how it works: customers send in old tees and get a $5 store credit per shirt in exchange. Marine Layer sorts the collected tees into four main colors, breaks the material down into the yarn, and uses it to create super soft tanks, raglans, and striped tees for men and women. The up-cycled pieces not only have the karma cred from keeping items out of the landfill, they also have the worn in feel of old shirts as a bonus. 

“We’ve collected about 75,000 tees to-date and will be carrying our sustainability initiative into future collections,” said Marine Layer Founder Mike Natenshon. “We aim to have 50 percent of our styles be part of the Re-Spun program within two years.”

Find the entire Re-Spun collection ($52–$92) online or at their NW 23rd location. 

Marine Layer
828 NW 23rd Ave

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